If you are having a weight gain problem with your Labrador Retriever, you may now be in search of the best food for an overweight Labrador.
Labs are a breed that is incredibly well-known for their love of food—and obesity.
It is unfortunate that so many Labradors are overweight or obese. Many of the domestic dogs in several countries suffer the problem of obesity because of their sedentary lifestyles.
It might seem like a dog is pampered that way, but it’s actually getting in the way of their health.
According to this study of more than 30,000 Labs, obesity is the second most prevalent health condition in Labrador Retrievers.
This is incredibly alarming knowing that Labradors love food so much.
So, how do you balance their love for food while trying to keep them healthy?
Well, actually, it isn’t as tough as you think! All you have to do is to be strict about their food and nutrition intake.
This article will discuss the best food for overweight Labrador as they are on their weight loss journey.
We’ll also talk a little bit about tips and tricks for your overweight Labrador Retriever to lose weight.
Why an overweight Lab is not a good thing
So, what is it with being overweight that makes it so bad?
Just like with humans, we already know that it isn’t healthy for Labrador Retrievers to go over their recommended weights.
But, what are the risks that are associated with being overweight?
For one, it makes joint problems worse. Labs are a breed that is naturally predisposed to having joint issues as they age.
This could become an even bigger problem if you have an overweight Labrador.
Imagine the strain it would cause your Lab’s joints if they are carrying more weight than they possibly can.
It will cause your Labrador Retriever pain and discomfort and will heavily limit their mobility.
Not only that, an overweight Lab has higher chances of getting cancer, diabetes, and other common conditions.
This study even tells us that abdominal obesity in Labradors is associated with an increased likelihood of heart disease in dogs.
Plus, being obese contradicts the nature of the Labrador Retriever as an incredibly energetic and playful pet.
It will be difficult for them to exercise and get their body around if they have more weight than they can carry.
A Labrador will not live the maximum quality of life if they suffer from obesity, and this is where the best food for overweight Lab comes in.
The best food for overweight Labrador
One thing you need to know if you’re wondering what to feed an overweight Lab is that they need to eat less than the amount of energy that they spend.
You may need to analyze this and adjust, depending on your Labrador Retriever’s energy levels.
1) Foods that are high in protein
Protein makes Labradors feel fuller for a considerably longer amount of time.
Plus, as carnivores, Labs naturally need to incorporate lots of protein in their diet.
You should check the label of the food that you are giving your Labrador Retriever to check if the food has enough protein in it.
This also serves as a way for you to measure how many calories your Lab consumes and how you can adjust it.
There are even specific kinds of food that are specifically high in protein.
Even if you do feed your Labrador with kibble, there are still tons of options that have a healthy amount of protein.
Nonetheless, you have to scrutinize the food you buy properly.
Some kidneys of commercial food do not give your Labrador Retriever the nutrients that they need, so you have to be careful about that.
2) Foods that are low in calories
Naturally, you will not want to feed your Labradors food that is high in calorie.
This will make the weight loss process much more difficult since you are not maximizing the calories that your Lab is eating.
Similar to checking out foods that have a high protein content, you also need to do the same for calories.
But, before you launch into any of those above, make sure that you have already consulted your vet.
You should not put your Labrador Retriever into a specialized dietary plan without professional consultation.
Your Lab may have specific dietary requirements due to an underlying medical condition of some sort.
Either way, you are better off properly checking in with your vet. They may also be able to recommend good food brands for the best food for overweight Labrador.
3) No treats
As an option, you could always also not give any treats to your Lab.
Treats are an additional source of calories that are not necessary. This is especially true if you are feeding them treats randomly without taking note of and reducing their mealtime calories.
Sure, no treats will be difficult at first especially if your Lab has gotten used to them.
But, you can actually use other treats other than food. This includes spending more time with them or additional belly rubs.
Tips for an overweight Lab
Here are some basic tips to help you on what to do for your overweight Labrador:
1) Watch their food intake carefully.
This is already a given when you are trying to get your overweight Labrador Retriever to lose weight.
However, you may not notice that they are eating more than they are supposed to when you are not looking.
This includes things like fruits in your backyard that your Labrador may be interested in.
2) Get the whole family to cooperate.
Trying to get your Lab to lose weight and watching their food properly will have little progress if you have a family member that continues to give your Lab treats.
So, make sure that you orient your entire household on what you want to happen.
3) Appropriate exercise
Overweight Labradors will have less energy over time due to their sedentary way of living.
To prevent this, you should begin with slowly upping their energy through exercise.
You have to begin slowly and not immediately push them to do more than they can.
Gradually and over time, they should be able to do more exercises and for longer periods of time.
4) Make it a fun experience for your Labrador Retriever.
Aside from the tips above, we also highly recommend that you make weight loss a fun experience for your dog.
This will encourage them to cooperate much better, and you’ll have a better time. It will not be an easy process, but it is incredibly doable.